Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 4, 2014 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
temporary effect. the recession was topline younger workers. we know that. they have faced high levels of unemployment. older workers have faced what is the unemployment rate old?workers20 to 24 years >> it declined over the year in march, to 12.2% and of those people in that age range, 31% were employed. >> you may not have this right to, but what it was previous the recession, the year before the recession, that age group? >> much lower. see if i got it. we will get it. it clearly has to be a focus. older workers, what is the rate
5:01 pm
for workers 55 and older? >> 4.7%. >> did that improved over last year? >> yes. >> did you know how that was pre-recession? >> no. abouten now have more 500,000 jobs since the recession began, while men -- is that right? >> yes. >> they called it the man session? i still think we have an issue, and i touched on this with the long-term unemployed, and issue with some of the wages that people make, even though they have jobs they are not able to support their families. and one of the ways we know works is education. college degrees make a
5:02 pm
difference. what is the unemployment rate for college is now? see., let's let me see if i got -- ok. >> that is ok, you can give it to me later. i used to always ask this every month to find where we were in relation to -- >> here we go, unemployment rates for college graduates. 3.7%. do you know what it is for high school or people who did not complete high school? >> 7.5% for high school graduates with no college, and 11% for those without a high school diploma. >> have there been any trends on that over the last two years? >> all of these have been declining since the recession was over. >> how about the veteran unemployment rate? theave had a focus across
5:03 pm
country on private employers focusing on trying to employ war of our post-gulf veterans and make sure we are getting people employed that left, especially while the numbers am a when they left, the numbers were high, and the recession happened, and then we had trouble getting them employ. where is that for veterans? unemploymentn the rate for gulf war veterans, that is 6.9%. >> do you know where was before? >> last month it was 9.2%. this is a huge drop, all those these knobs could be that these numbers to be volatile. >> for many years, it is around the same as our nation possible unemployment rate. nation's unemployment rate. this is some of the best news of
5:04 pm
the report. thank you very i am out of time. i had one last question. rural areas, is there a difference in unemployment numbers between rural and urban? >> yes, there is. and i think i have -- ok. yes, the unemployment rate for but foreas was 7.5%, rural areas it was 6.7%, so lower in the rural areas >> than urban areas. >>surprising. thank you very much. >> you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. education purported or skills job cap, and it's just it poses a hindrance to employment and may relate to a decline in labor force participation rates in the
5:05 pm
employment to population ratio. when the economy is growing at a healthy rate, the skilled referential is as great as a factor as getting a job offer as when there is an excess of labor? perhaps that is a subjective question -- it is, but if you have any idea, i would appreciate it. >> generally speaking them at the lower skilled people have bigger increases in their unemployment rate erring recessions than higher skilled people. the wages of higher skilled people and unemployment of higher skilled people -- and employment of higher skilled evil are preserved much more than lower skilled people during recessions. , do you that suggestion believe -- we have a long-term structural problem with in terms of what senator club which are terms of matching
5:06 pm
the skills up with education, and, therefore, is it something is structural in a way that we have to respond to differently than we are, and are many of these people permanently displaced? does a growing economy help -- whatever you think? >> sure. speaking bls does not have data about specific skills required for job vacancies that employers are trying to fill. fromer, we would say that what we can see there does not appear to be a larger than normal mismatch tween the skills employers are seeking and those that jobseekers have. one of the reasons why we say this is because we have not seen an increase in wages, and that
5:07 pm
is what you would expect if you had a big, sudden mismatch in what employers -- between what employers were demanding and the skills the workforce had. you would see an increase in wages for workers who had those skills. we woulaare not seeing that. >> there may be other reasons as well. you are talking about basic supply and the mind. -- and the man. wage growth has been stagnant even in areas of decline. you had employers, a group of employers who really workers with a certain skill, you could expect they would start poaching each other's workers and the response would be worker -- employers would raise wages to retain
5:08 pm
them. >> do you think there has been some conversation about -- there is a population in our country that has not been well prepared for retirement. we know that. even young people going towards -- 55-year-olds, we have seen a lot of elderly people who might otherwise wish to be retired or force.aging in the labor there is also a suggestion there for displacement of that younger people who might enter that same workforce, for those he same jobs. can you talk about that, do you think that is the case, or what that may be looks like on a ound? >> the increase in labor participation among older workers seems to be -- an important part of that is the
5:09 pm
are in ourhey increasingly ones that one can do later in life, so they are less likely to be blue-collar the or the -- where physical demands become difficult for people at older ages. this is seen as an important factor in an increasing participation. >> the ones that people entering the workforce would also be likely to take? the sort of crowding hasthat people think about not been seen as that much of a factor in whether or not you employmentl wage growth. when you have a growing economy, then you can accommodate all workers. >> growth helps everyone. thank you.
5:10 pm
>> mr. cummings, you're recognized for five minutes. >> commissioner, the unemployment rate, the unemployment rate among african -americans had been declining, last month it increased to 12.4%, and why did the rate of unemployment for african-americans increase in march? do you have any idea? >> while it did increase, powerpoint estimate of it went -- our point estimate of it went up, this was based on a smaller sample that is not significant . around a this is noise high level. clearly, the unemployment rate for african-americans is high, is this particular tick up probably noise, although it will take another couple months for
5:11 pm
us to see if it sticks or goes higher. >> when we look at the situation see theinos, we unemployment rate has gone down significantly. is that accurate? >> not in this particular month. >> but overall? >> the change over the years, a decline of 1.3 percentage points, whereas the decline for lack and african-americans is .8%. >> so today's report says in march the unemployment rate for hispanic workers is 7.9%? >> right. >> and 5.2 percentage points lower than the peak? >> let's see. >> the peak was 16 point eight percent -- 16.8%? >> for hispanics, i have a
5:12 pm
decline of 4.3% since january 2009. >> that is significant, isn't not?-- is it >> yes. >> do the numbers tell us anything? >> this is consistent with what has been happening throughout the labor market, and since they had a particularly large increase in unemployment over the course of the recession, you would expect them to have a when the labor market returns to normal. >> i was at the university of maryland law school, which is where i went to school, and they were telling me that law schools throughout the country are having less and less people apply. and they said there were reasons for that. and one being people did not have the money. date they do not see the jobs.
5:13 pm
i will ask this question when you all come in. somebody watching this right now, they do not have a job, what would you tell them? certain areas of the country that are doing well, what areas might one graduating from high school getting ready to enter college want to go into, because i think more and more people are concerned that when they get out of college they will not have a job. so based upon the numbers -- i know you do not give a lot of advice, but, putting the numbers out there, what would you say to young people who are trying to and who dotheir way not want to go back and live with their mother and father after they get out of college? -- main adviceng i would give them is to get a there isation, that one thing that is under people's control and has a very important
5:14 pm
people'setermining unemployment rate is how much education they have. so that would be the main thing. then that choice of industry makes a difference. occupations and industries related to health care will add the most new jobs over the next 10 years. so we think health care and social assistance jobs -- we project them to add nearly 1/3 of all new jobs, 15.6 million new jobs between now and 2022. we also project large gains in construction jobs, primarily to reflect recovery from the very severe downturn we had in construction jobs. >> are there any regions of the country that you would tell them that they might one to travel
5:15 pm
to? regions thathe have had the most job growth have been in the south and the west. average --e, the let's see -- the average change in the employment in the south has been adding about 49,000 tos per month from january 9 february 14, and the west has been adding 32 thousand jobs per month. these are the areas where we see most of the job growth regionally. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, commissioner, for being here today. is aovide what i think positive report with a fair amount of evidence that things are getting back on track after
5:16 pm
a winter slowdown. some very good news in the numbers reported, some good things to build upon. my question is keeping with my friend and colleagues, more direct questions as opposed to advice, is trying to diss aggregate some of this data. do you compile any analysis of how jobs rake down between low, middle, and high skilled in terms of their profile? those are subjective categorizations, that do you data, and youour observe any trends that are relevant? >> ok. let's see.
5:17 pm
i am looking for -- >> or while you're looking for that, i will add another question, which is the concern i have is the headline in unemployment number and subsidiary numbers that flow from that are largely affected by choices people are making about the type of jobs they want to pursue. do you compile any data about trends in the standard of living of average jobs, which would effectively be an aggregation of the low, middle, and high skilled composite, if you will? >> yes. -- let's see -- ok. if it is easier, you can get me the information after the fact. >> right. largestbeen finding the
5:18 pm
over the year employment increases have come in professional and is this services -- and business services. these industries have a relatively high earnings -- >> at high skills. >> that is right. >> so those are growing. >> the next highest gains are in interest trees that have the lowest average earnings, leisure and hospitality. >> would that lead us to continue we continue to see this barbell job creation where we are creating high skilled jobs at a decent rate, reflecting the company's -- the country's competitive position in industries like technology, medical devices, etc., and that the income driven by those high skilled jobs is creating an amount of low skilled jobs, but inue to see a hollowing
5:19 pm
out of middle skilled jobs? is the data suggesting that is accelerating or decelerating? >> yeah, i would say it is continuing, certainly by industry. it is a little more mixed by occupation, but -- >> got it. ratio, theabout this framing the job distraction rate over the job creation rate. the impact of technology on the obviouslyhere is fairly profound as it relates to those two statistics, the job creation rate and the job distraction rate. -- distraction rate. you have a few on what that ratio is, based on -- is
5:20 pm
technology creating more jobs relative to the numbers it is destroying, or is it going the other way? do you have a view on that? thate simplest question is -- it large it is now on is balanced. any net change we have seen for the economy as a whole, the amount of churn in the u.s. in the dynamic u.s. economy is very high. job, every net job we create, we probably destroyed , and we have jobs samee number of -- at the time we have a huge number of jobs created. getting back to one of the questions you have, the stem
5:21 pm
jobs, if we want to focus on those, have grown touch faster than total employment during this time. they drew at 5.1% between 2009 employmenthile total grew by just 1.5%. for stem, our demand jobs is much faster than for other jobs. follow-up with more specific questions on that. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner, for taking the time to testify this morning, and i know we are getting ready to head back to several inches of snow in minnesota. we thank everybody for being here this morning. the committee is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
5:22 pm
5:23 pm
[no audio]
5:24 pm
some reaction from capitol hill to the march implement report. john boehner said -- -- nancy pelosi >> mr. speaker, an irs agent testified under oath that taxpayers who fight back are sue sue us, go right ahead,
5:25 pm
us, and prove that we are wrong. think about it, after our taxpayers are hit with lls, theyry tax bi are told if you do not like it, sue us. this is not hearsay, this is not rumor, this is an exact quotation on an irs agent who also said beware, congress, the irs will tell you these are isolated incidents. that is not true. this is in fact standard policy. beam me up. i say it is time for congress to shove these illegal tactics right of the assets of the irs. congress caused this problem, congress must solve this problem, and congress must -- thethe bird burden of proof. i yield back.
5:26 pm
>> the gentleman's time is expired. ourind more highlights on facebook page. c-span, created by cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> the chair of the house budget committee announced this week a house republicans budget plan. it would cut spending on medicare, food stamps, and other mystic programs -- other domestic programs, while increasing pentagon spending. here's a look. >> we will have our alternative budget ready by monday, which is when we have to submitted to the rules committee. monday or tuesday, and our budget will stand in stark contrast to this congressional republic budget because we believe in growing the economy
5:27 pm
and investing in our future, including our kids. the congressional budget office indicated the republican budget will slow down economic activity in the coming years because of the deep cuts it makes in these investments. we believe in the promise of america, which is that everybody , regardless of what family they were born into, should have an opportunity to achieve the american dream. the republican budget is a dark cloud over that drink. the democratic budget will adhere to american values, which is giving every child a chance to get a good education, starting with an early education, where our budget like the president budget's will increase our investment in early education, because all the evidence shows it is important that children get a good start in life. the republican budget goes the other direction, cutting over
5:28 pm
$18 billion from early education over the time of the budget. in every way, our budget will be one that focuses on economic growth, jobs, an opportunity for the american people. we expect it to be monday. >> david drucker is the senior correspondent for "the washington examiner. go congress is back for one more go onf work before they recess for easter and passover. can you tell us what is in the proposal and when we can expect that debate to get started? >> you will see the debate throughout the week. they will vote on it before they leave for recess, toward the end of the week, and what is most notable about the budget is the fact that it increases defense spending beyond what the president has asked for, but given republicans have been divided over defense spending in recent years and the fact they
5:29 pm
have been concerned about the budget, where it relates to defense spending, i thought this was interesting. i suspect you will see the usual split debate over the budget with democrats saying all sorts of horrible things about it, or publicans saying all kinds of wonderful things about it. it is likely to pass, and it will go nowhere from there, but it gives republicans an agenda to run on and drawing a contrast on fiscal issues with democrats is something that has been important for them. article, howcent does the house republican leadership land to do that in and what type of lobbying is underway to get that budget passed? >> it is not a tough sell, to be honest with you. republicans are eager to pass something, anything that can show what they are for him a show they are not just against the president's agenda.
5:30 pm
if you listen to paul ryan and -- andhas discussed his how he has discussed his budget, the first thing he said on the conference call the past few days is people have asked him why he is doing this in an election year when it will not pass it a credit senate, and he made the point of saying a number of times on prompted that the republican party needs to be a proposition party, not an opposition party, and if you jingoism,beyond the the slogan, what he is saying republicans have been sensitive to the fact they are portrayed often in the press and by the notident as a party of no, having any new ideas to help the middle class, to help americans. they do not feel that way and do not believe that is the case. a lot of the republicans on the hill want to legislate. that is one of the reasons you are seeing them come up with a budget when there is no reason for them to do so politically. that is what i was looking at in the article, and that is why not only because german ryan is
5:31 pm
close asked chairman ryan is close with any members of it is not like he slapped it together and saying what do you think? he way he works with this is consults with members as he puts it together, so there are no surprises, which is what i do not think we'll have a problem passing. that is why they're doing this even though we will not hear about this budget from a legislative standpoint once it finishes next week in the house. paper also has an article on how house democrats will make the budget a defining issue in the upcoming election season. can republicans look forward to any support from house democrats to get their budget? >> no, primarily because delegates have a different view of budgeting and republicans. not much they agree on. murray-ryan budget agreement we are living under right now is notable for the fact that the two sides were able to come butther to pass this thing,
5:32 pm
when you're looking at a budget document like this, there is no reason for immigrants to support it. you might see a few around the edges, because there are some house democrats in tough races that might want to embrace this. there is so much in a house republicans that democrats do not lie, and there's no reason politically for them to support something they do not like in this regard. i do not think you will see that. >> let's turn to the senate. senators are scheduled to vote monday on an extension of unemployment. how did senators reach that agreement on thursday on moving ahead to final passage? what is likely happened to the measure when it hits the house? >> you have senate republicans on anve been negotiating unemployment extension because in certain states it is something that members felt were still very much needed and their constituents supported. you had a senator from nevada, negotiating with jack reed, and
5:33 pm
you had other republicans get involved. even though other republicans did not support this particular extension for several reasons, you had enough that you would be able to get to 60 votes. when they finally around to how to pay for it or what other cuts to make in the government support costs of the unemployment insurance extension and you figured out a few other things, you were able to get the five republicans you needed to get this thing across the finish line. the house is another matter, toause what they would want pass this extension would be the attachment of some of their jobs-related bills, reforms to jobs programs that democrats have not and supportive of. democratso get senate to agree to something in that regard so that this thing could get through the house in that way. it would only get then back to the senate that way.
5:34 pm
there are some house republicans from some of the same states that have been affected by unemployment that have affected republican senators who have supported this, and they are asking leadership to consider a way to get this done. whether or not that happens i do not know. republicans in the house do not think this extension is good for job creation. they think in many ways it helps, that it hurts the people that it is designed to help. >> the senate could squeeze in work with pay equity along with raising the minimum wage. what is the status of those bills? >> there are still issues with senate democrats as it relates to the minimum wage, and i do not believe they have gotten on the same. on the same page. until they do, that is the first step. i do not think you will see much chance of getting it through a republican house. they think it will actually damage job creation, cause more
5:35 pm
unemployment if you raise the minimum wage, and as a matter of philosophy, republicans do not like it. some legs in the democratic senate, but i do not know it gets through there, and then it is a matter of republican house, and i do not see it. drucker is a senior congressional correspondent. thank you for joining us today. >> thanks a lot. iraniansonth two boarded the malaysian airlines flight. securityouse homeland subcommittee held a hearing on passport fraud. bersin told the subcommittee an alarming number of countries do not report data on stolen passports.
5:36 pm
>> the committee on homeland security will come to order. the subcommittee is meeting today to examine the issue of passport security. we are pleased to be with alan bersin. he is the assistant secretary for international affairs at the department of homeland security. -- mr. johnwagner wagner, we appreciate his attendance today. he is the deputy assistant commissioner at the customs and border protection. brenda sprague at the department of state, and mr. sean bray. formally introduce them in just a moment.
5:37 pm
let me recognize myself for an opening statement. saying all of us , thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded at fort hood. a terrible incident that happened, anin my ranking state.s we have to be mindful to support the men and women who wear the uniform, not only overseas, but when they return home as well. we will be talking about travel document security, a cornerstone of the united to secure ourt homeland. it is integral to pushing our borders out. the ability of terrorists hinges on the large part to travel, and if you make it hard for terrorists to cross borders without being detected, future acts of terrorism can be
5:38 pm
permitted. i want to begin by commending the department of homeland security and the department of state for the great progress made as we have strengthened the so-called outer ring of border security. today we conduct more vigorous vetting earlier in the process. we stationed dhs personnel in high risk countries to prevent persons of concern from boarding a plane or getting a visa, and we use ir metrics to determine visa fraud. in the past three years this subcommittee has held six various hearings on these and document security, because we understand the importance of the 9/11 commission's recommendations, and one of the for terroristst travel documents are as important as weapons. vulnerability's in our document security can be exploited by those who would do us harm, so we must have robust measures in place to deter and alternately detect those traveling on false documents. to that end we will were
5:39 pm
dismayed to learn reports that two passengers on the malaysian the aircraftarded using stolen passports, and while it has been reported, we do not have reason to believe these individuals were involved in an act of terrorism, it highlights a vulnerability in the aviation systems abroad. our thoughts and prayers go to the families who are still waiting to learn what has happened to their loved ones, and we hope and pray that that plane will soon be found. in the united states, through the work of the department of homeland security, we have made the necessary changes to keep the flying public secure. and the ability of passengers to board a flight bound for the united states with a known lost or stolen passport is very low. in the years after 2001, the international community created a lost and stolen document database that allows the information to be sent to a repository to make sure that no
5:40 pm
one can enter a country or board a plane with a lost passport. only three countries in the world routinely check flight manifests against that database. the united states, united the united arab emirates. there is no question that more countries should follow our lead. otherwise, international travelers, including americans who travel internationally, are at risk. according to interpol, in 2013 travelers boarded international flights were then one billion times without having passport numbers checked against a database. tools are in place to determine if a passport has been reported missing, and we should use every avenue at our disposal to encourage countries to do the right thing, including offering technical assistance where appropriate. in addition to not consistently checking the logs on stolen password databases, most countries are not consistently sharing loss and stolen asked
5:41 pm
for information with interpol. the overwhelming majority of the 40 million records in a lost or stolen database comes from visa waiver program entries in large part because it is the condition for visa free travel to the united states. routinelytries do not check their flight manifests against the database. as a result, i will be exploring and introducing legislation and solutions to encourage countries within the visa waiver program to do so. because without timely reporting of lost and stolen travel documents, it becomes difficult to determine whether someone is lying on a full stomach before they present themselves to a customs officer at an airport. if a terrorist is intent to hijack an airplane, it might be too late. even though the united states has a robust screening process for travelers, it does not mean our work in this area is done. i understand cvp just recently
5:42 pm
began to check passengers on outbound flights against a look lost and stolen database. we are interested from hearing from our witnesses today why that was not done before. i want to get an update on the work that the department of andland security and cvp the state department and interpol have done since 9/11 to stolen,those with lost, and fraudulent passports from getting on a plane bound for the united states. while americans should be confident dhs is doing good work setting all the appropriate databases, we can and should work with our partners to strengthen aviation security for americans who travel abroad. this subcommittee stands ready to assist in any way that we can. the chair would now recognize my ranking member, the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. >> thank you very much. good morning to the witnesses. thank you very much for your presence here today, and thank you again, madam chair, for
5:43 pm
reminding us as i intended to do of the tragedy that occurred in my home state. to those men and women who have been brave enough to put on the nation's uniform to fight in faraway places, our deepest concern and sympathy, certainty for the families have lost their loved ones who, as i indicated, are willing to serve in the united states military, and certainly those who were injured. this is the second time that this tragedy occurred at fort hood, and second time that we've had to embrace those who, as i said, are our neighbors. i mourned with them in 2009 and will continue to do so now. i hope this committee will have an opportunity to address the question of protecting even as this is a military issue, protecting our men and women while they're on domestic soil, and view it as a cause for zero
5:44 pm
tolerance for these kinds of incidents on the nation's domestic military bases. again, my sympathy do not only the men and women at fort hood and the leadership, but also to the people of the state of texas. this is another tragedy that we are facing, trying to find solutions, and i would make mention that even as this has gone into many, many days, that we still express our concern for the families of the passengers of malaysia airlines flight 370. i hope that it will not be their final and as there's been no determination as to what occurred to that particular flight. but today i am appreciative that we are holding this hearing as i spoke to the chairwoman in the immediacy of the hours of determining that there were passengers on that flight that have fraudulent passports. survey there have been continuing investigations and whether not we have concluded
5:45 pm
that there was no connection, we do know that passengers traveled with fraudulent passport. and as well but american citizens were on that flight. while many questions remain unanswered regarding the tragic disappearance of flight 370, we do not know as i indicated what connection those two passengers may have had. to its demise, if any. to iranian nationals were allowed to come using italian and an australian passport -- posturing passports had been injured in interpol stoler a lost passport database. reports suggest that these individuals were not criminals or terrorists but rather a asylum-seekers hoping to reach your. nevertheless, the fact that at least in certain countries travelers can readily board aircraft using passports that do not belong to them is a cause for concern. if a couple of asylum-seekers can do it, so can terrorists or criminals. and after 9/11 and even in other
5:46 pm
countries before that, we know that we live in a different territory with different actors and different reasons for their actions. in fact, they are known examples of terrorist comment on fraudulent documents. according to interpol, master money the 1993 world trade center bombing in new york committed his crimes after traveling internationally on a stolen passport. also the so-called white widow of a london july 2005 suicide bomber is wanted in kenya and currently at large with aliases linked to a fraudulent passport and a passport reported stolen. evidence that this is a problem. it is my understanding that the u.s. is ahead of most of the rest of the when it comes to preventing individual talent a loss, stone or fraudulent doctors. department of homeland security systematically checks all travelers documents against appropriate lost and stolen
5:47 pm
database. these checks yield results. for example, in fiscal year 2013 u. fiscal year 2013 u.s. customs and border protection, cbp, reviewed 17,710 possible hits against lost and stolen databases resulted in 496 individuals being denied from boarding planes to the u.s. already in fiscal year 2014, cbp has reviewed 10,806 possible hits resulting in 159 individuals in denied boarding but i also want to thank homeland security and the various agencies relevant to the issue of our border security for the extended perimeters and improved security that we've had post-9/11. we are clearly, as i've often said, in a better place than we were. thank them again for the service at what we've been able to benefit from. since flight 370 incident, not just arriving passengers but
5:48 pm
also those departing this country. while overdue, this step should post our remaining -- should close the remaining loophole applied to or from this country. hope to hear from our dhs witnesses debate about why the party passengers had not really been included in their checks and whether any analysis have been done such going to determine whether passengers have been departing the u.s. on documents that do not belong to them. i also hope that we will be able to embrace and declared the airline industry as we move forward on a number of ways to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public. hope to here from all over what this is about how we can encourage our international partners to follow the lead of you as an handful of other countries that regularly check travel documents against intervals database. it is my understanding that traveling on loss, still are otherwise fraudulent travel documents has already come place in certain parts of the world. doing so is made possible
5:49 pm
because fewer than 20 of interpol's 190 countries systematically check passports against s. ltd. although the flight 37 incident has focused attention on the vulnerability was already known to interpol. in fact, speak at the seventh annual world summit in february just before flight 370 incident, interpol secretary-general noble lamented that only a handful of countries are systematically using sltd to screen travelers. when that technology and device is available, leaving our global security apparatus vulnerable, exploitation by criminals and terrorists. the world is getting smaller. traveled from all over the world to all over the world, this is simply unacceptable. helped her from her witnesses debate about how we can encourage other countries, particularly those would work closely with on aviation security matters to begin regular screening passengers or doctors against interpol's the
5:50 pm
database. it is in that then i will be looking to draft legislation dealing with the enforcement aspect of this particular aspect of aviation travel. the security of the traveling public including u.s. citizens traveling between foreign countries can well be at stake as well as those traveling from foreign countries to the united states as well as americans leaving our soil and traveling elsewhere around the world. again i think chairwoman miller for holding today's hearing, and the witnesses for joining us. at this time i ask unanimous consent to allow mr. swallow, a member of the full committee, to sit and question the witnesses at today's hearing. >> without objection. >> i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. other members of the committee are reminded that helping statement might be submitted for the record. we are pleased today to have as an agent for very distinguished witnesses joining us today spent
5:51 pm
allow me to indicate that i am called to be part of a quorum in a market and i'll be away for just a moment. i think the chairwoman for her courtesy. >> certainly. a busy morning here on the hill and we will be having votes a little after 10 so we will move a long. mr. alan bersin is the assistant secretary for national affairs and chief diplomatic officer for the department of homeland security. previously mr. bersin service commission for u.s. customs and border protection. mr. john wagner is acting deputy assistant commissioner for the office of field operations in u.s. border protection. mr. wagner from serve as executive director and passenger programs was responsible for all travelers admissibility related policies and programs. ms. brenda sprague served as deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services in the bureau of consular affairs, a position she held since july of 2008. and in this capacity this break
5:52 pm
oversees a network of 28 agencies and centers that are responsible for the exception -- adjudication and issuance of u.s. task force. mr. chabot is the director of interpol washington, the nsa's national central bureau, a position he has held since 2012. as director the xml for the attorney general as the official u.s. represents to interpol. mr. bray has been focused on improving partnerships between the other 189 interpol member countries and the u.s. a federal, state and local tribal law enforcement counterparts. careful statements about what is will appear in the record and the turn of recognizes mr. bersin for his statement. >> thank you, madam chair, ranking member of the, i appreciate this opportunity on this subject. the international criminal police organization or interpol is the world's largest transnational police association with 190 member countries today.
5:53 pm
each member country as a national central bureau to conduct interval activities and could make its services within its national territory. on the service is interpol provides to the law enforcement entities of every member country is access to its sltd, stolen and lost travel document database. this database contains over 49 records provided by nearly 170 of the organization's members. on march 9, interpol confirmed that two of the passports used by passengers that boarded malaysia and fought through some have been recorded and installed a lost travel documents a base. as noted by the ranking member, interpol secretary-general ronald noble noted to the surprise of many that very few countries systematically query the sltd database for the purpose of verifying whether a passport has been reported as lost and stolen.
5:54 pm
even more troubling is the miniscule rate at which countries outside of europe, canada and the united states visa waiver countries our country bidding information to the database. madam chair, as you noted since 9/11, the united states government and the american people have addressed the security vulnerabilities exposed so tragically on that day. in the 12 years since any thoroughly bipartisan fashion in which this committee has play significant role, we have together constructed a multilayer, fully automated, in agency approach to homeland security. as additional vulnerabilities have been revealed, and are revealed, we examine and respond to them properly in concert with the concert. -- congress. eveas we do so to in the contexf lost and stolen passports. when an individual seeking admission to the united states presents a foreign passport, whether he or she seeks admission by land, by commercial air or by sea, that passport to
5:55 pm
screen against the sltd database prior to admission. in fact, many cases on multiple occasions. doubt as mr. wagner will explain we screen outbound passports in a way. most countries in the interpol committee do not screen travelers against the database as thoroughly as we did in the united states. meaning not at all. the alarming number of countries that report very few and in some cases no lost or stolen passport data to the sltd database. as a condition for participation as the chair noted, these a waiver countries are required to do so. the united states, canada and europe as those of the other the deputy partners according have provided a vast majority of the 49 records in the slt database. some of the most populous countries in the world note of it including china, india and indonesia have contributed few if any records to the database.
5:56 pm
despite the remarkable department of the database, 49 records added in the past 12 years, the lack of data provided by many interpol member countries remains significant. i have had the honor of serving on the interpol executive committee, and as vice president of the americas since novembe november 2012, and i've been urging the organization to prioritize the sltd program and other border security efforts as core functions of interpol. to be sure, madam chair, congressmen, there are real and current challenges to this vision. despite the fact that dhs and the united states national central bureau have worked to incorporate recommendations for data reporting and response times into interpol's standard operating procedures, many countries have not been able to connect their agencies and interpol does not require them to do so. the task ahead is encouraging
5:57 pm
our partners to more fully utilize the sltd database and to engage in these kinds of border screening and security efforts. this can only add to this that from a standpoint of american security. i look forward to exploring with you how we may best approach this latest challenge. it will not be the last, madam chair, and congressmen, but i take from our past experience that we can forge and resolve this matter in a satisfactorily cost-effective way. thank you for this opportunity again, and i look forward to responding to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. bersin. mr. wagner. >> chairman miller, ranking member lee and testing which members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear today and to discuss our u.s. passports are good for appreciate the opportunity to join my colleague conspicuously important issue supports the core mission of cbp.
5:58 pm
today i would like to discuss the sources of information of able to see bp, how we query this information as well as operational responses in a different travelers are desperate to deliver cbp officers to access real-time and reliable information on all travis seeking admission to the estateestates is critical for antiterrorism and anti-fraud efforts. however, secure modern document may be today, cbp must ensure that a traveler isn't fraudulent presenting another individuals valid passport or other travel documents with the dog is stolen or intentionally provided to enter the united states. cbp uses interpol stolen a lost travel document database, and department of state called through lost and stolen passport and support systems in the air land and sea environments to verify the validity and status of travel documents. cbp also uses the sltd data on a citizen of a visa waiver program country applies for travel authorization through the electronic system for traveler
5:59 pm
authorization also known as esta. cbs tonight over 98,000 s. does since 2008 for lost and stolen records. and all travel environment air, land, and sea, cbp officers were troubled it was against tax which is our primary database that includes access to many enforcement systems including lost and stolen test -- and edit it in the air and see if i'm cbp as extra advantage of receiving airline travel information prior to departure from the foreign location to this enables cbp to address potential risk factors and admissible issues prior to boarding the aircraft. cbp will coordinate our national targeting center and our assets overseas in immigration advisory program or in preclearance oma cornet directly with the airline to prevent boarding in cases where the esta has been denied for the traveler does not have a replacement document to the one reported lost or stolen.
6:00 pm
cbp has recommended over 650 no board recommendations to carriers in the last 18 months. in all environments cbp chordates with interpol when matches are returned from the sltd. many of the cases are actually travelers with no malice i think it. there simply travelers headed for a lost document, but later founded and are trying out to use it for travel. in ms. casey bp will verify the person's identity and if the passport is a u.s. passport we will allow the traveler to proceed but will seize the passport and returned to the department of state. in other cases the travel will have a valid replacement document for the lost and stolen one and cbp will verify that they are the to bear and about the traveler to proceed. this often occurs in the air environment when the traveler hasn't updated their airline profile with an airline and the old passport data has been transmitted to us. if the travelers found to be present a lost or stolen passport as an impostor or is altered and tempered with a passport in any form, cbp will take appropriate law enforcement
6:01 pm
action against that traveler. in the last 18 months see pscs over 300 lost and stolen documents using attempt to enter the united states fraudulently. to enhance passport security operations, cbp has developed a carrier liaison program which provides training to airlines and security companies and identifying improperly documented passengers destined to the united states. cop keating provides airline personal hands-on instruction fraudulent document identification or passenger assessment, posture identification and traveler document verification. to date the clp has trained 33,600 airline security personnel. winters encountered a lost or stolen document, clp training instructs teachers to contact the regional carrier liaison groups that are 20 for seven operations maintained at airports in new york, miami and honolulu. the rcl just respond in real-time to carry increased concern to plenty of the total
6:02 pm
document presented. after a determinadetermina tion a loss of some travel docket has been made, they will make the recommendation to board the passenger or denied boarding. so in concert with a part of cbp strive to ensure that travelers who present a risk are abruptly interviewed or vetted before boarding a flight bound for the united states in any document his address before traveling to give. cbs place opposite the strategic airports overseas to work with carriers and host nation authorities and has built strong liaisons with airline represents improve our ability to address threats as early as possible and effectively expand our security efforts beyond the physical port abuse but these efforts seek to keep our transportation sector safe and prevent threats from ever reaching the united states. these efforts also enhanced efficiency and create savings for the us government and the private sector by preventing inadmissible travelers from traveling to the united states. and for the opportunity to testify today and i'm happy to answer your questions. >> think you very much,
6:03 pm
mr. wagner. the chair recognizes mr. sprague for her testimony. >> chairman miller, distinguish most of the committee to thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the many things the department of state does to promote the security of u.s. passport and to deter passport for appreciate your focus on this important topic. we at the department of state believe to prevent passport fraud we need to focus on five areas. a sophisticated document with technic advanced security features, a robust and vigorous education system, real-time sharing of data, a proactive anti-fraud program, and outraged u.s. citizens to educate them -- i'm sorry. to educate them about the important form of identification. because of the access of passport provides, we spend years creating products with high-tech security features in photo biometric and secure limiting micro-printed, color shifting ink enhanced
6:04 pm
electronics that render these documents virtually impossible to counterfeit. but it's the sophistication of u.s. passport increases, so did efforts of those attempting to commit passport fraud. today's passport fraud most often involves fraudulent birth certificates, fake identities and the look-alike photos. passport adjudicative spend hours annually in mandated trained to make certain that they have the skills to identify there is types of fraud. we also integrate several real-time fron front-end databae checks into our education system. but this is not enough. as recent events have shown, even a well-designed, well educated passport still if on ability in the wrong hands. domestically we counter this by reporting lost, stolen and revoked passports detected, the system and custom border protection used to screen arriving passengers at u.s. ports of entry. in turn cbp transcends us u.s.
6:05 pm
passport its season at u.s. borders so that we can identify patterns and determine whether the better submits a fraudulent passport application internationally we lead the way in reporting lost, stolen and revoked passport data to the interpol lost and stolen travel document. we provide interpol with real-time data including the passport number and date of issue so it is accessible to member law enforcement authorities worldwide. we also require all countries in our visa waiver program to report lost and stolen data to interpol if they wish to maintain vwp status. the departments of state and homeland security use the sltd to that visa applicants inbound flights and doesn't manifest and people crossing mentors at all u.s. ports of entry. if you this is about international law and border enforcement agencies, the sltd effectively prevents impostors and is lost or stolen passports they bought or obtained
6:06 pm
fraudulently for travel. though i would our documents and systems are strong, there is never time to rest on our laurels. the u.s. passport is one of those sought after documents in the world. not only is it an international can't document it is also a legal form of identification and might be used to determine eligibility or endowment benefits, to apply for driver's license, to confirm employment eligibility, to qualify for a mortgage or to open a bank account. this means we must continually assess the passport security features and design for potential vulnerabilities and incorporate new measures as technology advances. through our website, travel top after committee outreach by our 29 passport agencies, we remind you citizens of the importance of safeguarding their passport and provide guidance for reporting to us if the documentation is lost or stolen. we continually review our
6:07 pm
methods to improve our passport issuance system and fraud detection capabilities. and look for new ways to partner with other agencies to educate the public and strengthen existing procedures. we welcome opportunities to expand the efforts with federal, state, local and international agencies to protect our citizens and promote safe, secure and legal travel throughout the world. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you very much, mr. sprague. mr. sprague. thatcher never get jesus mr. bray for his testimony. >> thank you, chairman miller, ranking member jackson lee and distinguished members of the subcommittee. it is an honor to be today to provide you with an overview of interpol stole the lost travel document database or sltd. dashing stl p. before this i'd like to echo the previous statement of the pen regarding the tragedies there's a malaysia airlines flight 370.
6:08 pm
our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and loved ones of the flight passenger and crew. this incident servicers to underscore the need for coordination and collaboration across international borders great a safer, more secure world for us all. as you're aware the international criminal police organization commonly known as interpol is the largest police organization in the world. membership is comprised of the national police the first from 190 member companies. all of which participate in the organization on a voluntary basis to interpol exist to ensure and promote the widest possible you to assistance between these police authorities. in order to achieve this high level of cooperation each interpol never should country is required to establish and maintain a national central bureau. interval washington is that national central bureau for the united states. a component of the department of justice were unique in that we are also omitted by the department of homeland security. enough for six year of operation interpol washington is or but a multisector workforce consisting of a full-time staff from the department of justice and an additional senior personnel represent more than 30 years law
6:09 pm
enforcement agencies. simply stated our mission is to visit the international police cooperation, communication and investigations through interpol on behalf of the united states. we support and heavily utilize interpol's database and resources, it's global, secure global complete situation in the i-20 47 and what to publish this nation. it is the it would force him that connects the uc berkeley with interpol which with resources but also correctly with our 189 other member country partners. the use of its databases are governed by interpol tools in the processing of data. it is these rules allow interpol washington to extend the service and data including sltd to u.s. law enforcement. in accordance with our internal information sharing session interpol washington is next and the ability to query sltd to all authorities to existing u.s. law enforcement data systems. the sltd itself is essentially a
6:10 pm
search of a positive stolen and lost passport, visa and attended document information designed to prevent illicit international travel and false impersonation by criminals and terrorists. a query against the database to which there' there is a naturalt in the return of only information about the suspect document itself but will not include personally identifiable information about the document holder. although stronger encouraged by interpol, participation in sltd is voluntary and does very country by country the u.s. has embraced as a pd in its efforts as the critical point of its persecuting and transportation strategy. in the united states the bureau of consular affairs at the department of state as a designated target and source for the stove and lost passport data that is popular into the stove and last travel database. the u.s. making over 39th of the more than 49 records contained in the sltd. u.s. participation in sltd is managed at interpol washington by our operations and command center.
6:11 pm
working on a 24 by seven basis recorded the entry of that data into the u.s. passport data into the sltd, and also verify and result in matches against the database by either for or domestic authorities. in 2013, u.s. law enforcement border security and council authorities already sop in more than 238 million times. accounted for proximate 30% of all query activity worldwide. these queries result in more than 25,000 matches against the database, the of 100 of which were resolved administratively. small number of these hits, however, represent a series potential concern and were referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities for further investigation. as you can see, interpol washington is aggressively pursued the use of sltd to enhance and support on national security investigation. we will also continue to explore additional applications for sobt to further assist our law enforcement can be to ensure the safety of the american people. chairman miller, ranking member
6:12 pm
jackson lee, and distinguished of the subcommittee i appreciate the opportunity to testify about our role and support program and i've be pleased at any questions you have at this time. >> thank you very much, nestled appreciate all of the witnesses your it's been very, very informative. i think they're interesting issue and something that i think the united states congress needs to be looking at a bit more. because really the purpose of this hearing, first of all, we have a great story to tell, as has been mentioned here this money. the united states has a great story to tell about how significantly we have ratcheted up our security, our document security, et cetera, for our american citizens, particularly flying domestically here since 9/11. it really is a remarkable achievement by our nation i think. and so i think, i want to make sure that our united states systems do recognize and take a high degree can't have high degree of confidence and comfort
6:13 pm
level in the fact of what is happening with our various government agencies when our citizens are traveling domestically here. but as we are very aware now, and i think the american citizens are much more aware, because of the tragic of the malaysian flight 370, that if you are an american citizen and you are traveling internationally, particularly from one international country to another, they don't have the same type of security with their data documentation that we do. and suppose we know that, but yet we need to look at what types of things we could do perhaps to incentivize others to improve a bit, particularly when they see in the malaysian flight 370 there were american citizens traveling on that aircraft. and so since that has happened,
6:14 pm
the world continues to search for that flight, we decided to have this hearing this morning really to look into this issue a bit and explore what kinds of options we might have. and certainly one that comes to mind immediately and has been mentioned here of course extensively, and there's a testament today in our opening comments, both myself and the ranking member, i mean, we have 38 countries, a list of 38 countries that do, these are our friends. these are our allies, these nations that are under the visa free travel, the vwp program. and this is a program that the united states started back in the '80s really as a way to expedite travel from our allied countries into the united states and for tourism, for commerce, et cetera. and since 9/11 we have had great success with them.
6:15 pm
certainly checking, or giving us information, if there is a lost or stolen passport. so that is all good. however, it is interesting and it really comes like i think because of the malaysian flight that these same countries are not really checking as they could for the potential stolen or lost passport under database when people are getting on their flights. and so again these are other nations, and i think the united states obviously they are our friends, allies consider but we do this particular program with them, and i'm just wondering, i mentioned in my opening statement, it's my intention we are looking at introducing legislation that would require them as a participant in this program to really not only just
6:16 pm
regulate submit information on lost and stolen passports, but really for these countries also to routinely check the database for passengers who are boarding these flights. and i mean, you look at the list of the countries here. as i say, these are our friends and allies, closest allies in the world. look at france and germany and greece, ireland, italy, et cetera. this information is available, and in some ways it would seem to me that many of these countries don't need to incentivize by the united states. perhaps they will start doing it on their own at what has come to light with malaysia's flight. i guess i would throw the question out, maybe start with mr. bersin. what is your thought about actually legislation about something like that and what you think would be the reaction of our allied countries for something like that? would they consider it an intrusion? what would you you about the on
6:17 pm
something like that? >> madam chair, so of course you recognize that pending the submission of legislation this is, which the department would have a formal review process, this is in good faith response to your -- >> at i appreciate that. there has not been legislation introduced by as i said it is my intent to do so. >> is looking at. >> is looking at the what and which visa waiver countries operate now, we do require them to pipe of the database so that every time someone comes -- populate -- on the way to the united states we have been queried the database, maintained by interpol operate as ms. sprague indicated and find lost and stolen documents, and the number is great because of the requirement. also when you get on a foreign airline and they come, someone is coming on a foreign airline from those countries, we get the same benefit because the advanced passenger information requirement of games to any
6:18 pm
flight from any country, whether visa waiver or else coming to the united states. the question you raised which is whether as a condition of protecting into visa waiver program they ought to be compelled to scream against the database with regard to all flights, regardless of whether the coming towards us are going elsewhere, poses an interesting policy question. it does address the issue that we see highlighted by malaysian airline or flight 370 and the two iranians using the lost or stolen passport issued in italy and austria. is a legitimate issue. i believe though that we are going to have to assess whether of all the things that we would require that do not have a direct impact on us, whether that would be one of them, i think it's an open question. ..
6:19 pm
ct do that. some of them do it in a varying degrees and then the ability to run that data against the different databases that are there for that government to access becomes a technology and resource issue for a lot of the governments to do. in the cases where we've had our
6:20 pm
closest partners develop these types of systems we've also brokered some arrangements to help them targeted information and help them review it and exchange information and located personnel on the ground to work with their authorities to help them adjudicate a lot of the manifests. we have officers in camelot and mexico. it's an extension of the advisory program. but we can work with travelers moving towards the government to identify travelers in the countries to help them identify that. we've had some success with stolen documents entering pamelor in mexico to do that so people continue to push certain countries to expand on those really on those capabilities. >> following up with mr. wagner because it was in your testimony or one of you that testified at the cbp was going to be just starting a screening for lost in the store when passports and i
6:21 pm
know you've been doing that on the in-bomb flights. can you tell us what we are doing and why we are doing that and how it advantages us from the security risk standpoint? >> we get 100% of the passengers departing the united states manifests. historically we have screened them for some of our top threats that we face the terrorist screening, no-fly hit with some of the targeting and analysis. we've recently added to the lost and stolen database to the manifests and screaming. we are looking now i want to see 60 to 80 hits a day total. we are looking to program the systems to be able to see if we can administratively reconcile so we are not chasing down
6:22 pm
administrative actions. the old database person is interred. as we've seen on the inbound the majority are reconciled in the administrative manner cause they have a replacement document and they lost and found the document so we see ways we can help them pinpoint the ones that are with qualified intent and depart the u.s. on the stove and document. and we are working to see if they can build and prohibiting printing the boarding pass when they get the hits to reconcile the information and respond.
6:23 pm
it is properly credentialed the person leverages a lot of that as well. even though we are talking about peace and passports activity i think interpol is an interesting organization and you mentioned all of the members countries. for instance if you had germany got on an aircraft flying into the united states would they be sharing that information with us? not just other threats. so i understand how the information sharing works in the organization.
6:24 pm
>> it can be received from germany and other countries. we routinely receive information regarding traveling sex offenders from a generally registered offenders in many countries that have a registry for that but for the countries that may be notifying us. we communicate that information immediately to the determination can bthatdetermination can be me disability in the united states but that's one story. there is information regarding criminals, terrorists that are chain-smoking on a daily basis. at the command center is 24 by seven, 365 s 365 so they procesd over 30,000 messages to and from the law enforcement community. this is the work we do every day into vs ltd has been a component of the work we do to enhance
6:25 pm
u.s. security. as we spoke about it is a department of justice concern. there are no officers there. it is law enforcement and tools to help us overcome linguistic and sometimes cheap traffic barriers with other foreign countries. as you said it's been a success story we will be able to build upon in the future. >> as indicated that we can receive information on the criminal records and in fact it is the vehicle that they can communicate and there are sex offender registered but that information was not come unless there is a specific case or law
6:26 pm
enforcement inquiry. unless that sex offender or murderer unless that record is in the fbi database we had no routine insight into what is in the data records of other countries. that's the issue. if there is a specific case or inquiry they would receive that information but the point is it's not a routine data exchange because we don't have routine access to german criminal records anymor any more than the routine access unless there is a case towards the criminal records. >> of the subcommittee and the full committee is interested in pursuing legislation in regards to biometrics etc. and that is
6:27 pm
the only sure fire wa surefire f verifying somebody's identity in this case we are only talking about foreign travelers into the united states. they are an important tool for something like that perhaps from the department. do we have a comment on that? >> i would never pretend to be an expert but as you know they provide ten fingerprints and of course those can be verified at the entry so the most reliable biometric accepted his fingerprints and they are already collected. >> one of the requirement requit
6:28 pm
congress imposed is that we enter into something called the preventing and combating serious crime agreements. there's also a national security agreement that's required that would facilitate the exchange of information and we do have with the 38 countries in agreement and in fact with some countries that are not members we have those agreements. but we are at the very dawn of creating the exchange and one of them is biometric we can inquiry each other's fingerprint databases and if ther there's ad light alert to call the police authority to say what is that about.
6:29 pm
>> certainly the information is power. such a critical component of the security that we appreciate that and the chair recognizes the ranking member. >> let me thank the chairwoman and the witnesses again. in my opening statement i mentioned it to individuals and i'm going to mention them again because in the present circumstances of the malaysian flight 370, the investigation initially has not pointed to the individuals having criminal intent to bring the plane down. what is attributed to these individuals in false passports is a benign but important issue of a desperation added that the
6:30 pm
bike drop and 50 and sympathy. i don't want that determination to cloud how serious this hearing is and how crucial that we have a construct that will let the world know this is a very serious issue and the witnesses already know that in actuality he was convicted of masterminding not just a traveling soldier standing by the wayside about masterminding the world trade center bombing and many have made note of the fact that it's something that didn't wake america up. it was so unusual we didn't attribute it to the beginning change in the psyche of those that want to do america harm but
6:31 pm
he was traveling internationally on a stolen passport and of the widothewidow that is now wantedn kenya is linked to fraudulent passport. we must leave here with the idea that solutions are possible and i would like to put on the record that interpol has taken note travelers have boarded flights more than 1 billion times without having their passports checked against the lost travel documents. that is very much a wake-up call so i would ask you what impediments with respect to technology privacy concerns that are blocking or keeping countries and what is your view
6:32 pm
of how the u.s. might be able to be hopeful to these countries? you are correct with the observation on the 1 billion -- >> that is a large number. >> very large. you indicate some of the difficulties the countries have. these include not only resource free strains in terms of lacking the money and priority of a budget decision. it also involves the lack of technological know-how to set up the kind of sophisticated information technology systems that are required to create this kind of automated checking. it also involves as you indicated the invisible requirements or constraints of privacy and the lack of coordination between immigration authorities and police authorities of the provincial
6:33 pm
levels in foreign countries. all of those together within institutional, create an institutional capacity to operate the kind of automated vending systems that we have. having said that, we have to have a strategy with regard to those countries that are critical to our security to ensure at the very least they populate the stolen and lost travel document database. the important requirement for us in the near term is that we have the data to be able to see who may be traveling to the united states. the second requirement is to figure out again based on flow of passengers what strategic capacity building efforts we ought to engage in to help countries build up the kind of technological and capital requirements to build up the
6:34 pm
systems and while we do that, to some extent we don't, for example, at the department of homeland security have capacity buildinbuilding fund and fundine sector funding in which to do that. so when we go out to do that they grant from the state department or the defense department we have to do that so-called aldehyde which we regularly do. >> that you have no budget line items that would allow you to dip into the funds and be engaged in that kind of capacity building? >> that's correct. >> when the secretary went to visit with countries dealing with tsa responsibilities in foreign countries, what outreach was that? >> with regard to tsa because of the responsibilities for the screening and airport security
6:35 pm
has a limited separate line budget with regards to providing technical assistance on airport security no other component to my knowledge has a separate line item that would permit the kind of capacity building. >> let me quickly pursue this very briefly. you said that despite the fact they work to incorporate recommendations on response times and the standard operating procedure they do not require member countries to implement them. do you have recommendations on this? >> as i said in response to the chairs question requiring other countries to screen the database is an issue we need to debate
6:36 pm
but populating it has a direct and immediate impact on our security so if we go down that route and mandates or capacity building efforts i would focus on getting data into the database that we could screen. whether we could cooperate with interpol and other organizations such as the civil aviation organization is one we also need to explore as we move forward. >> but there is a question with mr. wagner. cbp has screamed arriving passengers. you haven't screamed departing pax to the passengers i think
6:37 pm
you started after malaysia 370. mr. bersin said he doesn't believe any other agency have capacity building. i need a yes or no on that and then whether this indicates our ability in the human trafficking issue because i would imagine that that is also a possibility for individuals being smuggled todathey may be on a fraudulent passport as well but the question is you just started giving the exiting passengers. why haven't you done it and then what about the impact getting our hands around the passports on human smuggling? >> we've recently added to the lost and stolen documents to the outbound manifest screening that we do. we will focus primarily on the
6:38 pm
terrorist screening database is and other types of national security. but we will call out some of the administrative heads. >> we will be working to come up with a better -- >> do you believe in issues dealing with human smuggling and trafficking? >> and assuring people that are properly credentialed. as far as the capacity building i don't think we have a line item for it but we do put a lot of resources into doing that and work with the department of state to fund those activities and like i mentioned before helping the governments build these advanced passenger information systems to get the manifests, to do the targeting and analysis and helping ex- change that information is critical to a lot of our
6:39 pm
priorities. i have questions i will put in the record and ask for a response from the committee and i will ask about how you discern the possible hits but do you do if a possible hit is discerned. now the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi. >> in an effort to share information to the passports as a criteria in the visa waiver program countries must sign agreements with united states regarding the sharing of lost and stolen passports. through participation in the program that nations have agreed to share the lost and stolen passport information. doctor bersin, do the countries
6:40 pm
routinely share information on lost and stolen passports in interpol backs >> yesterday due into there was regular checking that we do to see that that requirement is met that would be a preview of how many entries have been made by the countries and if th that problem arises we will remedy that. >> are there any countries that are noncompliant? >> at this time no and asked several of us noteasseveral of e testimony of the 40 million records 96% of them come from the visa waiver countries or aspiring in which the requirement to populate the database is set. >> if the country becomes noncompliant what actions would you take?
6:41 pm
>> first would be the communication between the program office working with the components on hsi to point out the deficit and overtime we haven't met the situation yet but there would be the authority of the secretary's office with secretary johnson to take steps to see that that effort was enforced in the law. >> we haven't had this instance happened yet. what would be a realistic amount of time, three months or six months quick >> because of the importance to the security vetting we wouldn't want that to be an extended period of time. i know everybody seems to be in compliance right now but is there a hurdle to providing the information you hear from the
6:42 pm
partner nations? >> with regards to the visa as the chair pointed out at the outset of these are the closest allies in the country with whom we share the most experienced that have developed sophisticated information systems operating through, so with regard to the countries we have the infrastructure in place. >> as a result of the requirement to you think the sharing has been increased into the program has been successful? >> i appreciate you can be named this hearing and exploring the legislative options so soon
6:43 pm
after the vulnerabilities have been exposed and appreciate the testimony that we've heard from the experts today and want to thank mr. wagner and mr. bersin for the response and the outbound passengers from the u.s. in light of the flight 370 tragedy and everything else that you described but to build upon something the ranking member has asked about the capacity building with other countries around the world you responded that there is not a line item currently but can you talk a little bit more starting with mr. bersin and continue with mr. wagner about funding the capacity and efforts into the
6:44 pm
second question you may also want to address in the same way that we are exploring the legislative options in the fixes you've already put in place maybe talk about what other countries have done over the last three weeks so if you would start. >> starting with the second question in the aftermath of the interpol statements come of secretary general ronald noble has been publicizing the issue and countries around have taken note of the problem and while it's too soon to say that it's resulted in changes it has created an awareness that didn't exist before and i think we will be seeing different countries
6:45 pm
within the constraints of the systems and cultures into the wall taking action and we should continue to encourage the populating database and also the screening. with regards to capacity building there are instances in which they have received state department grants through programs to help countries build the capacity. my point is it's always on a grand basis and there is no long-term capacity building line item to say we are going to do this and encourage all of the countries in north america from colombia or pinnacle to build a system so that any time someone comes into the north american aerospace or port we would have insight who is on those planes. to do that would take a large
6:46 pm
budget. mr. wagner is in a better position to give the experience and can allow anin panama all ad others but the larger vision is that over the next ten years while we cannot build the measures we built here we can put a minimally required satisfactory system in place from ten of all to the arctic but that would take it budget appropriation and i was us. >> i would think every country and every person in the world that gets on an airplane has a shared interest so we have the allies we've already described. the uk is already pursuing this but we also have countries like iran who have safety concerns.
6:47 pm
is there any way we can provide resources or encourage others especially wealthy countries to share the burden to make sure everyone is participating? i would love to find from you or mr. wagner what the cost is so we know what we are talking about. do you have a thought on this? >> we did work with mexico and panama on and the caribbean to help these countries with their authorities into the internal laws and regulations to complex of the manifest information to help fund them in the systems to actually go through and screamed that information and we have our personnel with this to share what we can so there's work to do with other developing develog countries and then there's also the developed world getting our
6:48 pm
allies to take like approaches to how we do this and you will find very degrees of capacities and authorities and privacy issues that it's a consistent message that all of our allies should be doing it in a similar fashion. >> as a follow-up to today's hearing what you be able to come up with a ballpark figure and share that with the committee so we understand and maybe on the past experiences with other countries what it would take to fund the necessary capacity locally, not that the united states needs to bear that burden on its own, but just so we know what that number is it so that is the basis for engaging other countries that might give to fund that's because it's in everyone's interest. >> she described this in finer
6:49 pm
detail. there is an infrastructure background. there is one single that connects the 190 countries have interpol and it's the beginning of the kind of system that you're talking about but perhaps he can explain what the system is and why it is a potential link in the area that you're exploring. >> we have notes in about five minutes. >> it is the backbone that connects the countries to not only interpol and resource databases to each other and the ability otothe ability of the co utilize this is centered upon its bureaus of the national central bureau becomes the cornerstone for making sure that the utilities tools are available. >> with that said the u.s. has been supportive of the interpol membership in the community
6:50 pm
specifically in central america. we helped install sites at specialized police units but also border control points as well. we are continue to work prior to the airline disaster we've been working with counterparts in mexico and other countries in the caribbean as well to determine how we can better and most effectively assist them in fully realizing how the utilities and tools may be better serviced in their countries. and we will obviously work with interpol to determine how we can best come up with a global strategy for engaging countries sharing best practices and lessons learned from this process. it's been a process for the united states, one that's taken time to develop and we need other countries to ramp up as quickly as possible. >> recognize the gentleman from california. first the ranking member has a
6:51 pm
comment. >> i want to put on the record thank you for your leadership on this issue and a lighter that you joined on into this isn't taking your time but i hope you will submit -- i would like to submit the letter for the record. again thank you for your leadership. >> thinthank you madam chair for allowing me to participate and the ranking member for supporting that request. and as others have stated, my prayers and wishes go out to the families of malaysia flight 370. but as we have often learned from aviation disasters, if there is any hope that has come out of it it is that we learn a lot about our own security and how to make passenger safety much better and i also want to
6:52 pm
note int if the chair miller submitted a letter to the department of homeland security and we appreciate the response that we received. and with senator schumer to create this s. ltd database if they don't we simply won't issue than these us and i hope i can work with the chair and the ranking member on such legislation. mr. bersin from you we would've to north america's concern as well because i believe the country we should principally be tracking our ones who have airports near our borders. for example, and my colleagues district she has mexico which
6:53 pm
has a large international airport and in san diego you have to yell on a just to the south and washington state you have vancouver and of course new york montréal and toronto are not far. my question is what degree are the bordering countries to the north and south, canada and mexico and of course in the hemisphere and a law and other countries, what percentage of passengers are being screened against the database traveling in and out of those countries? >> with regards to mexico, the figure mr. wagner can confirm what the 100% in terms of people entering mexico and could cross the border and come into the united states. with regard to canada, the canadians are fully cooperative with us and they screamed. we are in discussion with them about the full screening debut
6:54 pm
for their own citizens and as a result of this incident we will see a complete screening from the neighbors to the north. >> does that mean a flight originated in venezuela and landed in mexico 100% of the passengers with a check? >> that's great with regards to the stolen and lost travel document database. >> suppose a flight originating from germany and coming to vancouver, 1100% be checked? >> with regards to against the canadian database, yes and against the s. ltd when there is a secondary inspection there would be a check and as i say we are engaged in canada is engaged in to see what it could do to complete the cycle.
6:55 pm
with regard to the point on north america the reason i focus is that it's not just the neighboring airports such as far as and el paso, san diego, but it's people coming from outside the atmosphere into central america for example and traveling overland to the border so it's important for us to actually look at this as a continental problem, not a national one and i think president obama in the own the border action plan with the prime minister and canada recognizing perimeter security as a critical issue and our colleagues and partners share this notion. >> we are beginning to learn about check it whic such as a purchase program with interpol.
6:56 pm
what is the participation of u.s. airlines and hotels and other tourism companies right now as far as checking passports against the database as a point of purchase rather than 72 hours before the flight? and i'm just talking about the united states. >> i believe that all passports are being screened not by the airlines necessarily at the plaintiff purchased but by cbp and domestic purchases is what we are referring to. >> but i check a program intended to have cooperation with the vendors, right? the airlines and hotels. >> right. the relationship, the public-private relationship
6:57 pm
exists in the u.s. for some time and has a better fact it's a model for the world. it's one that we have taken to interpol and the ie check if working group is in a developmental stage. interpol is beginning to look at how to balance requirements into the concerns of 190 companies with a public-private partnership. having said that, the models that have been rolled out have been with hotels and they have seen success. they are now looking specifically at following the malaysian airline disaster at the transportation sector. >> is every purchase in the united states to travel outside or every purchase out of the united states to travel in the united states checked against the database at the point of purchase or closer to the departure or arrival? >> this will be the final question.
6:58 pm
>> when the tickets are purchased and checked out the counter. >> 100%? >> inbound flights to the u.s. yes. >> i want to thank the witnesses for being here. i think all of us have additional questions, so i would invite you all to separate those for the witnesses and we will ask for a written response to the questions and again i appreciate you coming on short notice. we convened this hearing i had an idea and convened it pretty quickly particularly for helping us move on capitol hill. so we appreciate the witnesses coming this morning and in person went to the role that record will be open for seven days and without objection the committee stands adjourned. thanks again.
6:59 pm
>> this week, the supreme court struck down a limit on the total dollar amount individual donors to different political campaigns. here's a brief look at what the could mean. here in washington is donald mcgahn, former chair of the federal election commission. also joining us from our new wright,dio is brenda she's with a group called deemose. be discussions the
7:00 pm
supreme court decision on campaign financing. view, what isr the effect of what the supreme court did on tuesday? well, the case that we're about, mccutcheon versus f.e.c. was brought by a wealthy businessman, sean mccutcheon, who wanted to be able to contribute more to candidates, parties and committees than the current limits allow. limits, herevious was able to contribute up to all federal candidates, parties and committees. and in the 5-4 decision that the declared thatthey limit to be unconstitutional amendment and said that he was entitled to the effect ofe so that decision takes us from a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on